Race Across America - 2010
The Race Across America is one of the most respected and longest running annual endurance events holding legendary stature the world over. It is one of the pinnacles of sporting accomplishment, globally seen as the highest rung of the ultra-endurance sports ladder. Since 1982, RAAM has a rich and storied history standing as a monument to human endeavors.
The Race Across America is an event so staggering that merely to finish is, for most, the accomplishment of a lifetime. RAAM inspires everyone that it touches. A monumental race contested with the utmost of sportsmanship and zeal. Truly, RAAM is larger than life. A breeding ground for champions, a testing ground for elite riders and a shining example of the strength of human spirit.
General Race Information (2009) - the 28th Edition
- Start: Oceanside, CA - The Oceanside Pier. Women June 16th, Men June 17th, Teams June 20th.
- Finish: Annapolis, MD - The City Dock. June 26th - June 29th.
- Route: More than 3,000 miles across the United States.
- Divisions: Solo and Two-Person, Four-Person, and Eight-Person Teams.
Because it's there was George Mallory's answer, as to why climb Mt. Everest.
RAAM has a similar draw. At the very least, it's the honor of adding their name to the prestigious roll call of RAAM Finishers and Team RAAM Finishers.
RAAM is more than a bike race. It is about ordinary people being great. It's about realizing dreams, a journey of the heart and soul. It's about being the toughest of the tough. It's about camaraderie, teamwork, and the incredible RAAM family. It's about taking the stage for a charity or cause that matters, to raise awareness and funds. It's about the vastness, richness, beauty, and generosity of the United States of America and the people who live here. It's a lifetime experience never to be repeated.
The Race Across America endures due to its amazing effect on the human consciousness and for its incredible feats of willpower, inspiration, and heart.
A 3,000 Mile Route
The route is over 3000 miles, touching 14 states and climbing over 100,000 feet. Teams typically cross the country in 6 to 9 days, averaging 350 to over 500 miles per day. Solo racers finish in 9 to 12 days, averaging 250 to 350 miles per day. Teams have a relay format and race 24 hours a day. Solo racers have the challenge of balancing a few hours of sleep each night against race deadlines.
A Race of Truth
This is a Race. Unlike other famous races, like the Tour de France, RAAM is not a stage race. The race is one stage, live to the very end. In RAAM, once the clock starts on the west coast, the clock doesn't stop until each racer reaches the finish line on the east coast. RAAM is 30% longer than the Tour de France and solo racers finish in half the time with no rest days. The race format is essentially a time trial, commonly called racing against the clock or the race of truth. Unlike the Tour de France, there is no drafting or taking shelter from the wind. It's an all out solo challenge.
Solo and Team
The heart of the race is the Solo division. That is where the ultimate challenge lies. The race has team categories of 2-Person, 4-Person, and 8-Person teams. With an 8-Person team, each person averages three hours a day on the bike.
Olympians, Grandfathers and You
The men and women who compete, as soloists or as team participants, are dedicated and driven athletes. The racers are comprised from an international field of professionals from all walks of life. Among them are Olympians, professional athletes, but, by far, most are just like you. They range in age from 18 to over 70 and each has a story to tell of their life and how they came to the race. That story is enriched during the week-long adventure across the country as each rises and discovers their inner ability.
Planning to Compete in the RAAM?
Whether you are a soloist or a member of a team what wishes to take part, it is advisable to plan for the race, interms of logistics, at least a year before the planned start date. With regards to training, one has to consider the level of fitness of the individual prior to even thinkin about taking on a challenge of this magnitude. If the individual is not accustomed to exercise, let alone cycling, then it could be that at least 2 years of structured training would enable a person to get to the startline in a good enough condition that may allow them to finish the race, especially as a soloist. Typically solo competitors have evolved from a background in cycle racing, pro-cycling, audax riding and/or ultra-endurance cycling (similar to audax in many respects). However there is, of course, the issue of RAAM qualification if a person is considering the race as a lone cyclist. There are designated qualifying events and one is also able to submit time trial (TT) results based on a 24hour TT. =WARNING= A word of caution here as this is no mean undertaking, and requires a considerable amount of training, knowledge of oneself, mental toughness and experience. If in any doubt about one's level of fitness, expecially if one is undertaking a new regime of training then it is highly recommended that medical advice is sought regarding the volume and intensity of training that one should participate in initially. Also it is worth speaking to experienced and suitably qualified coaches in Sports Psychology, Sports Nutrition, Strength and Conditioning, Physiology, and biomechanics prior to starting training.
Planning to Train for the RAAM?
In the depths of winter in the Northern Hemisphere one typically has to resort to Turbo Training Sessions to get any quality training in. By clicking on the following link you can select a turbo session of your choosing and then just go for it: Turbo Trainer Sessions